Bartercard�s New Future
(The following letter was forwarded
to BarterNews from Bartercard CEO Wayne Sharpe.)
shareholders, members and staff worldwide:
By now you
will be aware that Bartercard Plc has been de-listed from the London
Stock Exchange (LSE). This was an automatic process which was
effectively forced upon us as a result of the dramatic resignation
of our Nomad, against whom we have issued proceedings for breach of
contract and damages.
they took caused damage to the company�s reputation which led to us
being unable to get a new Nomad in the 30 days required. The damage
to shareholders� value is obvious. A class action to recover that
value is in the process of being developed against those who have
caused you damage.
I can say that
Bartercard has been in business for almost 16 years, and was only
listed for 18 months, so it is a ridiculous proposition that we will
cease to operate or go bust by not being public. This unfounded
speculation has been propagated by some people, particularly
categorically state that the company is solvent and will continue to
operate for many years to come. It is business as usual for the
company. Shareholders now hold shares in an unlisted public company.
The same board controls the same management who direct the same
staff to service the same clients. Record trading results for both
Australia and the UK have been achieved in recent months.
Life goes on
and gets better for those loyal shareholders who have stuck by us
and believe in our business.
expense of becoming public unfortunately never really achieved the
objectives set, in particular raising capital. So really other than
a small amount of new capital � of which I was personally the
largest single contributor � the company got more cost than benefit
as a public company on Aim. Importantly the indirect cost of the
huge amount of time by executive directors and management for no
positive result was frustrating and ultimately unproductive. However
the intention had been to continue the public listing and get better
results by raising capital via the sale and lease back of our
building, then we expected to see an improvement in share price and
liquidity based on the positive financial results we would report,
and ultimately build a larger shareholder base.
for Bartercard and its shareholders our former Nomad chose to resign
and cause the suspension and ultimately the de-listing of our shares
at a time when our most positive announcements in our history took
place. So shareholders never got the benefit of that in terms of
their share value, nor the ultimate flow toward the capital raise we
had worked so hard and long to do.
But we could
not prevent their folly despite my repeated attempts to stop their
breach of contract and complaints to the London Stock Exchange.
All we can do
now is redress their action in the Commercial Court and recover
damages. The Board has specifically endorsed this course of action
and we will keep you informed of the action�s progress.
We will look
at whatever options we can to get liquidity for shareholders, and we
are reviewing numerous alternatives currently. However, in reality,
for now we need to focus on the future as a private company once
again, we still intend to pay dividends to shareholders as and when
And the future
looks amazingly positive.
operational subsidiary licenses (Australia, UK and Dubai) are
forecasting profits this year. BCI has record license sales in
progress, and our plan to develop more into Europe can now be a
stronger focus for me as I shall now be freed from the distractions
of Plc issues.
Already in the
last month we have developed strong communication with prospective
licensees in the Czech Republic and Sweden. And of course the
agreement with South Africa looks set to be a real powerhouse.
operation is profitable and growing again. Based on current
activities and trends it will be back to its record breaking best
next year. The rollout of Eftpos is starting to take effect in terms
of streamlining client transactions and reducing time costs for
Bartercard and members. And the increased interest rates and drought
are looking to push the economy into a cash constrained
barter-friendly economic cycle for the next 2 or 3 years at least.
This means the members who retained their accounts and have been
actively trading will be the most likely not to have any negative
effect when the crunch comes. So next year should be huge.
is becoming the poster child of the group. Growth is now right up
there with New Zealand and the team are fired up. Records in terms
of trading are being smashed month on month and with a plan to
develop more franchises inside the M25 in particular (and central
London) it�s quite possible we could double our offices in the UK
next year, and at least double trade volume.
The UAE is
also growing and re-establishing our previous great reputation as a
high growth company in the fastest growing city in the world.
So with the
traumatic events behind us, the sale and lease back of our building
in Australia provides all the capital we need to achieve our goals
and return to a highly profitable private company as we were. We are
strong, and we have survived and grown in the face of adversity and
this is now a thing of the past.
To quote Mark
Twain - �The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated!�
Bartercard is here to stay. We have many years of trading ahead and
many countries to advance into.
In 1991, our
founding year, I said �The mountains we climb today are only
foothills compared to the mountains we have yet to climb.� Well
today we got our climbing equipment back.